Friday, December 15, 2017

Net Neutrality are Redundant Words

All the conversations and articles being written about so-called Net Neutrality have missed an important piece of the puzzle.

A very good example about Net Neutrality was published by Bloomberg. It gives a general overview from a US perspective - Tim Wu, a law professor and author, argued that no authority should be able to decide what kind of information was and was not allowed on the Internet.

To a certain degree governments control access via who controls and follows specific rules and regulations. Blocking access has nothing to do with neutrality in countries where censorship does the job.

I am certain many of you have headed over to YouTube to watch a film only to find it is blocked. Yet at another video website the same film is available to view. Someone is responsible for blocking on one website while the other is open.

How much Internet access can people Buy?

Everyone needs an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to connect devices in order to use the Internet. This is the beginning of a price scale allowing you access based on what you can afford to pay. Depending on how many people will be using the Internet most plans begin with download/upload speed, amount of data, how many devices and WiFi availability. Prices rise rapidly when ordering a top level plan.

You better get ready for higher pricing, into the hundreds of dollars per month, for an array of TV including some Internet based movie channels.Your picture quality depends on your TV, computer, mobile device and whatever else you have in your electronic cabinet.

Here comes the Kicker

Everything you paid for includes a dense market filled with advertising. It is the purist meaning of the word propaganda. The dissemination of targeted information with the sole purpose to keep your values in line with a given market place.

The more data you and your household uses the cost increases while the quality decreases. Add up the number of television screens, cell phones, computers, printers, laptops and tablets you have purchased over a 2 to 3 year time frame. You already know they are obsolete and will need replacing. That information is repeatedly fired at you daily by the same corporations who sold you the obsolete goods. Have you tested or know the cost of electricity to keep all of the devices running?

One question for you as this so-called Net Neutrality saga goes from one extreme to another. What do you really want from the Internet?


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Destructive Coal Mining and Mountain Removal in Alberta

No end in Sight

There have been many announcements about the end of coal-fired electricity in Alberta over the last two years. On the surface it sounds great to reduce the toxic pollution created by coal. Coal plants are a major source of air pollution, releasing pollutants such as: cadmium, lead, mercury,  nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide into the environment. When I use the term environment it covers: air, land, water and atmosphere.

Coal mining in Alberta has a long history of employment and a reasonable living. Long before oil and gas were discovered coal kept everyone warm. Many of the people in the early days of coal mining suffered from black lung disease, chronic and acute respiratory diseases. It is proper to say thank you to those who mined the coal and their families.

Closed by 2030

The government of Alberta in conjunction with industry and the private sector intend to make the transition over the next thirteen (13) years. All of the remaining coal-fired electrical plants are to be converted to natural gas combined with renewable energies.

The Promise

During the time Peter Lougheed was Premier he told Albertans the foothills would be a place for recreation. The Federal government had already created Jasper National Park and Banff National Park bordering on Alberta and British Columbia. Millions of people from everywhere know about the parks and use them all year. They have become so expensive it is unlikely most Albertans can afford the costs. Waterton National Park was created prior to 1900 in the southwest corner of Alberta bordering on Montana. Kananaskis Country is another popular park area in Alberta easily accessed with three highways. All of the services shown in the diagram are available, at a cost, to anyone who needs to bring every possible appliance along with their gas guzzling home on wheels.

Now the Kicker

Many Albertans, including myself, would rather get away from the noise pollution in the larger parks. There was one place in Alberta to camp in the back country away from the city pollution of noise, light, concrete and pavement. It is on the map as the Whitehorse Wildland Park located between Jasper and Banff on the Alberta side of the Rocky Mountains.

Click on the image for a larger and more readable map. As you can see a large part of this so-called park is no longer accessible to the public. The four ghost towns in the green and red area near the bottom of the map were plowed under by the coal mining companies. They were kind enough to relocate the Mountain View cemetery a good distance from it's original location.

I began camping in this area in 1978 when it was absolutely pristine wilderness with mountains, forests, rivers, creeks, wildlife and a single lane forestry road. You cannot imagine the untouched scenery with the universe alive in the night sky. The rivers and small creeks were fed from melting snow and glaciers making it ice cold and drinkable. A Forestry Ranger gave a forestry road map to me while advising of some dangers on the roads. It was a park where anyone staying could camp in one place for two weeks at no cost. Although the government website states there is no cost today there is a charge of $12.00/day. It includes all the horse manure and urine your nose can handle.

Photos are from my collection taken with a 35mm camera with film from 1978-1989. It was easy to leave the world behind and fall in love with nature. All the photos should be larger with a simple click.

Along Comes Open-Pit and Mountain Removal Coal Mining

According to thousands of documents I was able to retrieve geologists began to seriously study the rock formations during the 1980s. Work was done prior to that time though not to the same extent. The Conservative governments under Premiers Getty and Klein opened up the park to remove the coal without any rules or regulations.

This was once a mountain range on the outer limits of the Wildlife Park taken in 2015. Trees will not grow on the grass covered hills because there is not enough soil for a tree to grow. It's a panorama photo you can enlarge to see the extent of the destruction.

360 Video Shows where Mountains and Forests once Existed

Coal mining requires plenty of water to keep the coal dust contained and processed. The water is no longer drinkable from the rivers and smaller creeks. Large tailings ponds are everywhere around the park. The toxic lakes of pollutants are located above the groundwater basin for the North Saskatchewan River.

The river supplies drinking water to many towns and cities including Edmonton, Alberta and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan all the way to the Hudson's Bay. A constant flow of chemicals enters the tailings ponds every minute of every day from the coal open-pit mines. There is nothing stopping the toxins from entering the groundwater.

What Is an Open-Pit or Surface Mine?

Let's use a photo and a short video to explain what happens because you really don't want me to explain it with words. The first photo is from the mining industry where they leave out the tailings ponds.

I will show you steps 4-5-6 in photos before and after with photos taken in the park. The overburden mentioned in Step 5 is the removal of an entire range of mountains. What took nature a hundred million years to create the coal mining companies can cover up in a few months.

This short video is about mountain top removal in West Virginia. The same techniques are being used in Alberta's open-pit coal mining.

This is a tailings pond sitting where that was once a mountain. Anyone who ever camped in this area knows about the underground caves and rivers. Filthy coal filled waste water will easily find it's way into the groundwater.

It is a panorama photo for you to see a much bigger picture.

The next two photos were taken in the exact same spot with the first one in 1988 and the second in 2016. They show what the coal mining industry calls reclamation or contouring the land.

Yes it is a good move to halt the use of coal for electricity in Alberta. There is a tiny note in the fine print of the proposal not mentioned to the public. Coal mining will continue destroying this wilderness area until at least 2050. In over 30+ years from now a vast piece of Alberta will become a barren and uninviting toxic slurry. Our children's children will never forgive us for allowing this to happen.

Do you want to know what is in your drinking water along the North Saskatchewan River? This is the legacy left by decades of Conservative governments in Alberta. Will the NDP halt all coal mining once the power plants are converted?

Are you willing to let the coal mining industry put No Trespassing signs on Alberta's only wilderness park?

Further Reading and Resources

Alberta Climate Change Advisory Panel

Environment and Natural Resources Alberta

Mountains and Climate Change

Portraits of Climate Change: The Rocky Mountains

Alberta Renewable Energy 

Premier Rachel Notley

U.S. Geological Survey

Alberta Parks and Campgrounds

More Photos from my Collection

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Citizen of the World writes to America

You are giving the world a show better than any drama. President-elect Donald Trump is the winner.

He was picked apart by mainstream media in a way unbecoming of a democracy. While the media, all of it owned by a few moguls, were tearing him apart people began listening to him.

President Trump talked about many domestic issues most did not get to hear or read. Mainstream media, did not want you to know about those issues, since they directly affect you and the right to have a happy life.

The big corporate media, in fact began to make up stories, rather than report news to you. In all my years as a journalist I was beginning to find it difficult to separate fact from fiction. It was as though the United States of America was having its first Presidential Election. Thankfully I do not own a television.

It was indeed an extraordinary action for the media to twist the facts and bring the elected President of the Russian Federation into your election. President Putin is rather busy lifting the people of Russia out of poverty by creating avenues for them to do so. He is doing what we expect our elected leaders to do by prioritizing issues at home first. How did a simple Russian military drill make headlines as an invasion by the media?

As a friend outside your country, looking in, it appeared as though your life was being invaded by the media. We know these dangerous and misleading media headlines are the same ones who pushed you into invading Iraq. They love to see you at war invading countries who never did you any wrongs. Today as a result of their war loving ways you are involved in the atrocities being committed in the middle-east. We know the media earn billions with their lies by leaving out the facts and related evidence.

It must tell you something when President Trump tweets foreign policy and name calling. I sincerely hope you can tap into your cherished gift of creativity. Let us rid ourselves of the old ways by looking into a future as one planet in an immense universe.

Russia and many other nations want you as a friend and trading partner. Trillions of dollars have and are being spent on a single-minded corporate military industry. The result is a loss of faith in people, democracy, leaders and the right to live in peace.

The years of being in a race, nation against nation, are behind us. Getting to first is meant for a great baseball, basketball or hockey game. There are millions of good paying jobs available in a new industry where we clean up the pollution leftover from the past. Let us toast to a glass of fresh clean drinking water. Let your spirit and mind create domestic businesses and industries for a brighter and cleaner world.

I know the people of the United States of America and you have the spirit within you. We, the citizens of the world, would be grateful to have you look at our similarities. After reading Hillary Clinton's book It Takes a Village it's no wonder why she lost the election. Read her book and you will understand there is no Russian connection to her loss or Trump's win. She is boring.

Having had the honor of meeting him and listening to him I believe he represents the best of America. 

"That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind." Neil Armstrong 1930-2012


Friday, September 22, 2017

Democracy Does Not Exist in Canada

You are about to read a true story of a covert action taken against a Canadian citizen by the Liberal Party of Canada under former Prime Minister Paul Martin.

He gave orders to do whatever is necessary to destroy or rid Canada of a lone journalist who wrote against the attack on Iraq. The proof needed to avoid the invasion was in the hands of a UN inspector Scott Ritter. He was ignored by the media with two exceptions. Democracy NOW! broadcast several interviews with him. This writer did not believe the corporate media or paid expert lies. From 2002 to today did anyone find any WMDs in Iraq? When did the mushroom clouds appear, other than in a delusional mind of a US Supreme Court appointed, President of the US? Every so-called journalist in Canada buried their heads in the sand and apparently no one told them to come out.

Orders were given directly from PM Paul Martin to shut down a dissenting voice. His cruelty will send shivers down your spine. He wanted disparately to involve Canada in the illegal US invasion and destruction of Iraq and it's citizens. One voice, read by millions, would stop his dream of fame and glory in Canada. That same voice would bring the Liberal Party to its knees, with a reported scandal, dropped into the hands of the easily manipulated media.

His attack on me began in early 2002 and continued for four years. Then Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Anne McLellan his messenger, would threaten me twice. "Stop writing against the illegal invasion of Iraq or suffer the consequences" were her words to me. The same woman I worked tirelessly to have elected in Edmonton Center. She would never have won the election without the full support of the gay and lesbian community. I was the managing editor of an Edmonton based gay and lesbian volunteer publication called Times 10 Magazine.

A dog gets better treatment than most Canadians. For those who believe there is a difference with PM Justin Trudeau in office you are ignis fatuus.

The Liberal Party of Canada is rotten to the core. A political group of thieves and liars are now in charge of Canada. Their capacity for deceit, treachery, disloyalty and dishonor is all that remains of a political party lost in its own deception.

Every word I say has the backing of the people who offered help during the final weeks. I was being forced by the Court to hand my nearly paid for condo to ATB Financial . In words, face to face with CSIS, "...the order came from the PM with a virus attached to my name on the government of Canada's computers. Every time you responded to an inquiry up to 9 letters a day were sent to you from various departments. You really p***d him off..."

PM Justin Trudeau is window dressing for the cash donors to the Liberal Party of Canada. Worms are feasting on the remnants. This is the political party that once had the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize winner, PM Lester B. Pearson, as its helm.

I followed the orders of a wise attorney and the words of CSIS. Very ill, penniless and homeless I vanished onto the streets for six years.

Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms clearly states:

freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.

To be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.

Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

My rights were replaced with cruel and unusual punishment by the Liberal Party of Canada under orders from the "Right Honourable" Prime Minister Paul Martin.

We live in an illusion created by the giant corporate media owners. Most people sincerely believe our system has something to do with democracy. I ask: "Other than the selected days for voting, when do you have any input into decisions enacted by bureaucrats, and elected officials?"

Yes, there might be an open house, where you can have input on a neighborhood concern. A plan for the neighborhood is already drafted by the administration before you arrive. Democracy is more than laws and rules enacted without input from the citizens.

My Opinion differs from the Media Version of Democracy

A short background on how Canadians were feeling during the 1960s and early 1970s. The Liberal government introduced the Canada Pension Plan.  A tremendous feeling of national pride grew with the rising of a distinctive Canadian Flag. Canadians participated as the country looked for its own personality at home and on the world stage.

With the cooperation between the Liberals and New Democrats a Universal Healthcare plan was finalized. Late in the 1960s, Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau, proclaimed "there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation". This was the uniquely Canadian classical version of democracy.

The final move towards a more democratic country came with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. The debates raged widely as the provincial governments sought more power than democracy. Democracy begins to fail when self-interest and corporations cast the people aside.

The Aim of Terrorist Laws is to Annihilate the Citizen's Rights

As I said earlier in this article I considered it my right to voice my opposition to war. During the months after the 9/11 attack we heard the attackers were Saudi in origin. Who convinced countries, especially NATO members, to attack Afghanistan and then Iraq? Why didn't the US military go to the source and bomb the Saudi Royal Family into oblivion?

I wrote in an editorial printed in late January 2003: "I have heard from many of my American friends who are terrified to write anything against the current powers in Washington for fear of their lives. Remember Bin Laden is from a wealthy Saudi family. The voice of reason is silenced in the United States. Canada is not far behind as new terrorist laws are put in place..." Many more editorials were written along the same line with one titled Dear Paul aimed directly at Prime Minister Paul Martin Jr.

Hundreds of letters, from various Canadian government departments, began arriving daily day as I wrote against illegal wars. An audit of my businesses took place in mid 2004 by Revenue Canada. At a cost of over $100,000.00 the auditors found I owed the government $88.00 over the previous 7 years. The head auditor said: "I have no idea what we are doing auditing your companies. We received an urgent memo from Ottawa to get it done immediately."

When the statement for $88.00 arrived it included a $15,000.00 fine. The letters were now arriving at a rate of 9-12 a day and so were the phone calls. Imagine owning three businesses and having a phone for each plus a cell phone for yourself. Every phone was being bombarded with calls from multiple government departments night and day.

The meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan (also Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada) turned into shouting matches. She is also on of the politicians who helped draft up the 2003 anti-terrorist legislation. As far as I was concerned she had lost control of her senses.

In August 2004 under a lot of stress I went for a bicycle ride in the River Valley. On a trail I rode thousands of time a pile of gravel was on the path as I moved rode a sharp corner. One person later told me I must have flown over 4 meters (approx 15') before hitting the pavement flat on my back.  Six ribs were broken, one third of one lung kept me alive, shoulder and collar bones shattered into pieces, bones flew out of my body with blood everywhere. Thankfully many years earlier an Edmonton police officer talked to me about wearing a good bicycle helmet.

Six days in ICU with a few weeks in the hospital left me feeling out of this world. My businesses were in trouble and so was I. The day I was taken home, there on my desk sat a small cardboard box, full of letters from the government. (one of them claimed I had not reported income from a schooner in Nova Scotia) A new business, supposed to open a few months earlier, was also in financial trouble. On the table was a bill from the City of Edmonton amounting to $300.00 for using an ambulance. Goodbye Universal Healthcare thanks to the corporations and US interference in Canada.

The all volunteer magazine was kept in print with funds from business supporters and my businesses. Former PM Paul Martin kept turning up the pressure. On New Years Eve I locked the doors and walked away from two of the businesses. The last print issue of the all volunteer magazine was released in July 2005. We had started an online version in 1994. It remained online with many contributing articles and editorials until 2007.

Every time I was hired the job lasted 4-5 weeks without reason. The letters kept arriving from the federal government. The fine rose to $28,000.00 for not paying the $88.00 on time. My condo was almost paid for with a balance of $42,000.00 and had an appraised value of $225,000.00. Alberta Treasury Bank (ATB), where I had accounts for business plus my mortgage, told me they did not see any reason to assist me as my funds dried up. Alberta Treasury Bank (ATB) was handed $102,000.00 by the Federal Government kangaroo Court.

CSIS said "...the order came from the PM.."

My mind was in the mood to end my own life. You had to be there to see the so-called friends abandon the ship. The community I helped grow and spread it's wings were long gone.

The Judge was bewildered. "I have an order from the federal government..." They along with Alberta Treasury Bank  a government owned financial organization took all of the proceeds and tossed me on the street. Two doctors and one psychiatrist wrote up reports diagnosing me with PTSD. It made no difference to the tainted, and prejudiced judicial system in Canada, doing the bidding of the Queen of England.

"I, .., do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors. So help me God." Every elected and non-elected Canadian government official, including the judicial system, must swear an Oath of Allegiance to a person in a foreign country. Had I have been there when Benjamin Franklin asked Quebec along with Upper and Lower Canada to join the Union, he would have had a promoter, to rid us of the parasitic monarchy in England.

What Rights do You Have Today?

It is my hope you will realize you do not live in a democracy. When Bill C-51 became an election issue it was the Liberal Party of Canada who supported it under the leadership of PM Justin Trudeau. It allows a government official the right to do whatever they deem necessary, without a warrant, without a charge, without a trial to anyone who disagrees with their policies on any topic. Your elected officials, and unelected bureaucrats, have become your judge and jury. The people are silenced using the same methods used by Stalin in the former Soviet Union (USSR).

You  should know what the government did to the people protesting at the G-20 meeting in Toronto and the Occupy Movement in the United States. Now you have an example of what a Prime Minister can do to an individual without charge, warrant or trial.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights are meaningless words without an honest judicial system. Your rights are being violated and censored every hour of the day without your knowledge or consent.

After World War II  the UN Declaration was put in place to grant every citizen freedoms and prevent wars. When any country wants to become a member of the United Nations their signature should be required on the UN Declaration of Human Rights. There are too many examples to list of countries violating the International Laws they agreed too by signing the Declaration.

Why does it happen? 

The International Criminal Court is ignored due to politicians from most of the US-led NATO nations. Canada is a member of today's murderous NATO and continues its' armed blitz with the media remaining silent. You can find the reason why NATO was formed in the Cold War Museum under Warsaw Pact.

This article was re-written to remove repetitive material from two earlier articles I published.

"Cease then to call yourselves religious, lest you declare to the world your hypocrisy. Cease too to call other nations savage, when you are tenfold more the children of cruelty than they. I bow to no man for I am considered a prince among my own people. But I will gladly shake your hand." 

First Nations Chief Joseph Brant to King George III

My Partial Bibliography

Worked in broadcast media for 30+ years

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce - Marketing

Alberta Chamber of Commerce - Education Coordinator

Canadian Chamber of Commerce - Business Education Coordinator

Editor-Author - Four books on Economics commissioned by Premier Lougheed

Adviser - Alberta Minister of Education Julian Koziak

Adviser - Liberal Party of Canada under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau

Published - One book of Poetry

Josten's Canada - Marketing

Herff Jones International - Executive to President

Volunteer Managing Editor - Times .10 Magazine 1993-2007

Independent Writer and Activist

More about me at this link